My research examines the varying ways the study of reception illuminates questions of literary history. From issues of genre construction to questions about how African American writers engaged with Emerson and Hawthorne, I use the methods of reception study to examine the relationships between texts and their publication contexts, and between current scholarly assumptions about nineteenth-century literary value and the values that circulated among nineteenth-century reading publics. Attending to the reception of nineteenth-century texts opens up new readings of canonical works, provides alternate views of genre formation, and suggests different ways of evaluating reform-minded literature. Further, because the archive of reviews and literary criticism is both expansive and rich, nineteenth-century reception studies are particularly well-suited to the methodologies of the digital humanities. My research brings together reception theory and computational analytics to further expand the ways reception can help us understand literary history.